Antifa and fascism have become two huge global talking points of late. By definition, fascism is a governmental system led by a dictator who has complete power and forcibly suppresses along with any criticism of their regime; regimenting all industry, commerce etc… emphasising an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
Whilst the definition of fascism sounds kind of Trumpesque; thanks to pressure from the media, the American political system has done of great job of holding back Trump’s policies until now. So whilst doomsayers may believe fascism in the United States of America is already alive and well, the reality is the USA still pro-democracy and capitalism (more to come on this later).
‘Antifa” (pronounced ANtifa) is a radical “alt-left” (left-wing, anti-racist, anti-fascist and politically correct) revolutionary group that are fighting fascists, “alt-right” neo-Nazi’s (far-right ideologists who reject mainstream conservatism in favour of white nationalism, principally in the United States, but also to a lesser degree in Canada and Europe). The group is predominantly made up of the socialists (1), communists (2) and anarchists (3) (see footnotes) who reject turning to the police or the government to halt the advance of white supremacy.
When fascism withered after the fall of the Nazis in World War II, so too did Antifa – only to rise again in the ’70s and ’80s, when neo-Nazi skinheads began infiltrating Britain’s punk scene and when neo-Nazism began to rear its ugly head in Germany after the Berlin Wall fell.
Since Trump became president, anti-fascists have condemned his push to tighten immigration rules and see it as a move toward racism. The Antifa movement (although it truly never went away) has risen again in opposition and is branding American Republican voters (Trump supporters) as fascists and racists.
Trump won the US presidential election by tapping into the psyche of white supremacists, and winning their vote. It was a dirty tactic and his presidency has lead to an uprising of the “alt-right” in the USA, which Trump has failed to outlaw.
In response to this, a group (cadre) of young Antifas have decided to take the law in to their own hands and revived the tradition of street-level anti-fascism, with masked groups in America challenging right-wing rallies and speeches. The group of “alt-left” rioters seek to meet “alt-right” activity with violence.
On Saturday 19th August 2017, we learned that the Boiler Room’s founder Michail Stangl joined an Antifa gathering, during a neo-Nazi demonstration in Berlin by Irmela Mensah-Schramm, an infamous 70-year-old Nazi graffiti huntress, who took down or vandalised over 72.000 pieces of far-right graffiti in her 31 years of anti-fascist activism. The demonstration was peaceful in comparison to US demonstrations due to Germany’s strict laws.
— Gereon Asmuth (@gereonas) August 19, 2017
So with Michail’s Stangl being such an important figure in dance music, we thought it might be time to debate if dance music’s association with Antifa is actually a good thing?
Dance music has a long history of anti-establishmentarianism. In the late 80s, Jeff Mills and “Mad” Mike Banks formed the musical collective Underground Resistance as a reaction to the economic and social struggles of Detroit’s black community. Their movement was part of a wider nexus of anti-establishment dance music culture sweeping the globe, later encompassing the UK’s rave scene.
So it could be plausible for some to argue that dance music is inextricably linked?
Except it’s the violence that separates us! Antifa argue that hate speech against vulnerable minorities leads to violence against vulnerable minorities, which is why they try shut down any kind of thinking or discussions, contrary to their own beliefs. Anti-fascists don’t believe in a society where any kind of ideas can just float around, which is why they’re also going to war against free speech in the USA right now.
Antifa are supposed to be autonomous (unorganised), anti-racist groups who monitor and track the activities of local neo-Nazis. However as their support is growing, their scope seems to be widening too. Their strategy is to expose people that they believe are guilty to their neighbours and employers, through the press. They conduct public education campaigns, support migrants and refugees and pressure venues to cancel white power events. There are also members who are not afraid to use violence, if you fall on the wrong side of suspicion.
And whilst we have to give these guys credit for tackling problems in our society, like exposing anyone who has been proven guilty of being a racist, homophobe, transphobe, misogynist, misandrist or a neo Nazi; we feel actions like this should never be done on the basis of suspicion / hearsay / circumstantial evidence. Antifa make their own rules and answer to no government, so they make their own decisions on what is right and wrong; and because some of their supporters are in important positions in the dance music industry and the media, it can give them a dangerous fascist power.
And whilst it can be viewed that Antifa’s cause seems noble, as sympathy grows and more people join the cause, there’s potential for it to morph in to something completely different and become globally organised, just like the global Occupy protests did. To caveat; the Occupy protests were peaceful. They began autonomously, but soon became globally organised through their own communications network. The UK anti capitalist protests ended up being hijacked by socialists, the communist party, MI5 counter agents, with Anonymous fighting the battle for them on the web.
Except this time is completely different because Antifa condone the use of violence. When groups of mindless people get together: people who feel cheated or unwanted by the system, who have nothing to lose; then nasty and unimaginable things happen.
Warning: Antifa supporters on the web should note that Occupy supporters/protesters were placed on government watch lists and were classified as “domestic terrorists“. We believe Trump’s sudden attack on the “alt-left” means Antifa members are already on their watch list. And given the far reaching technology governments have to monitor us, if you believe you may already be on their radar, the chances are they’re watching you already. And just so you know; government surveillance includes (but is not limited to) tapping of cellphones, home devices (such as Amazon Echo), computers, consoles, tablets… social media accounts, internet searches etc…
Whilst we applaud Antifa’s mission to stamp out fascism, racism and bigotry, we would rather things were tackled via formal democratic political processes and criminal justice systems we have in place.
The US political system will not allow fascism to rise. Antifa and the alt-right fringe element will be outlawed soon by the government. Trump has kicked Steve Bannon out of the White House and now has to abandon his election strategy to continue his presidency. He will be made to move towards the middle ground or will be ousted from power. Simple as that.
Due to global and very important nature of our scene, we don’t want it to be tarnished through associations with Antifa militants. We can’t have Antifa supporters at the helm of important organisations that shape youth culture; or our press promoting the Antifa agenda anymore either.
Through their actions and although they may not realise it, through not allowing anyone to share a different political ideology to their own, Anitfa members also become the fascist oppressors that they seek to eradicate. And if you ask us, that’s pretty sad and ironic.
There’s no place for hate of any kind of violence or hate in dance music. Be that on the left or on the right. Share this post to let others know about the dangers of promoting and supporting extremist groups.
- Socialists: a political, social, and economic system based on state ownership, which meant to empower the working classes.
- Communists: a system where all property is public and people that work are given things the things that need by the government. Communism is a form of socialism and the 5 remaining communist countries of the world are China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba. Communism fell in Germany between 1989/1990.
- Anarchists: people who rebel against any authority, established order, or ruling power; or a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially: one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.